Campus News

Interdisciplinary Study of Behavioral Problems in Children with Hearing Loss Gains CCTS Funding

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2015) — A pilot project examining behavioral problems in children with hearing loss was recently awarded funding from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS).


The project, "Assessing and Addressing Behavioral Problems in Children with Hearing Loss," is led by Christina Studts, Ph.D, assistant professor in the UK Department of Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health, in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Bush, assistant professor in the UK College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.   


The interdisciplinary project seeks to maximize the combined expertise of Studts, a clinical social worker and public health researcher whose research targets early childhood behavior issues, and Bush, a cochlear implant surgeon and expert in pediatric hearing loss. They are joined on the project by Philip Westgate, assistant professor of biostatistics in the College of Public Health, and study coordinator Robin Thompson.


Studies suggest that children with hearing loss are at an increased risk for behavior problems.  However, exploration into the behavioral outcomes of these children has suffered from a number of limitations, including small sample sizes, contradictory findings and a lack of clinically validated measures for behavioral problems.  Additionally, although behavioral parent training interventions have proven highly effective in families of children without hearing loss, no intervention trials for families with hearing impaired children have been reported.


This pilot study is designed to be the first step in a process to improve the methodology used to evaluate disparities in disruptive behavior problems in children with hearing loss, as well as assess the feasibility and effectiveness of behavioral parenting training interventions in this population.


“This project is really exciting not only because of its focus on a group that has been understudied with regard to behavioral problems, but also because of the new interdisciplinary collaboration we have established between public health and otolaryngology,” Studts said. "Dr. Bush and I met as KL2 scholars supported by the CCTS, and we’re both grateful and honored by this opportunity to pool our expertise and resources to tackle this issue.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

UK Fellowship Program Accredited by the American Board of Addiction Medicine

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 15:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2015) — The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), located in Bethesda, Maryland, recently accredited the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry's Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program.


There are only 27 such ABAM-accredited programs in the U.S.


“We are delighted to be recognized for our excellent work in addiction medicine, which emphasizes screening, intervention, and treatment, and makes treatment more readily available to those who need it,” said Dr. Lon Hays, chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the UK College of Medicine.


The Addiction Medicine Fellowship program at UK will help physicians understand the biopsychosocial framework for individuals with addiction, and/or substance abuse-related health conditions.


 “Fellowship programs like UK's will also help ensure that trained physicians are able to prevent, recognize and treat addiction and address common medical or psychiatric conditions related to the use of addictive substances,” said Hays.  


The Addiction Medicine Fellowship at UK builds on a long history of addiction research and treatment. The fellowship program provides one year subspecialty training, which is offered to physicians already trained in primary care specialties (internal medicine, family medicine pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology) and other specialties.



UK Football's Northington Featured in TV Documentary

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 14:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2015) — Nate Northington, who became the first African-American football player in the SEC as a Kentucky Wildcat in 1967, will be featured in a one-hour documentary set to air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, Feb. 16, on CBS Sports Network. The documentary – “Forward Progress: The Integration of SEC Football” – explores Northington’s arrival at UK and its impact at both the SEC and national level.


“Nate Northington and his teammates Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg represent an important chapter in the history of Kentucky football,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are proud of the courage and perseverance it took to break the color barrier in the SEC and thankful Nate’s story will be told through this documentary.”


Northington and Page arrived at UK in 1966 after an effort to integrate the SEC that began with Kentucky Gov. Edward T. Breathitt, while Hackett and Hogg came a year later. The documentary examines this effort and the relationship between close friends Northington and Page, whose dreams to integrate the SEC together were cut short by Page’s tragic passing.


The documentary features an in-depth interview with Northington, as well as conversations with his African-American teammates Hackett and Hogg, former Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall, and NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld.


To view a clip of the documentary, visit the CBS Sports website:


For more information, go to




MEDIA CONTACT: Guy Ramsey, 859-257-3838;



Kentucky Ranks Second on SEC Academic Honor Roll

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 14:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2015) — Sixty-three University of Kentucky Wildcats earned a place on the 2014 Fall Sports Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll announced by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. 

UK's total of 63 honorees was the second-most among the 14 league teams. UK has 24 representatives from the football team, 14 from men's soccer, 15 from women's soccer and 10 from volleyball. 

The 2014 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll is based on the grades from the 2014 Spring, Summer and Fall terms. Among other qualifications, a student-athlete must have a grade-point average of 3.00 or above for the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above in order to make the honor roll. 

Here is a list of Kentucky's honorees, along with each student-athlete's sport and major:

Kentucky – Sport – Major

Steven Borden – Football – Integrated Strategic Communication

Tyler Brause – Football – Exercise Science

Mike Douglas – Football – Family Sciences

Tre Dunn – Football – Communication

Bud Dupree – Football – Community and Leadership Development

Landon Foster – Football – Finance/Marketing/Accounting

Max Godby – Football – Sport Leadership

John Gruenschlaeger – Football – Accounting

Jojo Kemp – Football – Undergraduate Studies

Austin MacGinnis – Football – Finance

Kelly Mason – Football – Finance/Marketing

Zach Myers – Football – Communication

Reese Phillips – Football – Communication

Maxwell Smith – Football – Integrated Strategic Communication

Za’Darius Smith – Football – Community and Leadership Development

Max Strong – Football – Business Management/Finance

Jordan Swindle – Football – Exercise Science/Biology

Fred Tiller – Football – Community and Leadership Development

Ryan Timmons – Football – Undergraduate Studies

Jon Toth – Football – Mechanical Engineering

D.J. Warren – Football – Community and Leadership Development

Zach West – Football – Political Science

Zane Williams – Football – Exercise Science

Jeff Witthuhn – Football – Exercise Science

Alex Bumpus – M Soccer – Pre-Nursing

Ryan Creel – M Soccer – Business Management

Dimitri DeChurch-Silva – M Soccer – Journalism

Stuart Ford – M Soccer – Community and Leadership Development

Kaelon Fox – M Soccer – Business Management

Callum Irving – M Soccer – History

Justin Laird – M Soccer – Marketing

Sam Miller – M Soccer – Human Nutrition

Jason Pitts – M Soccer – Economics

Matthew Quick – M Soccer – Marketing

Charlie Reymann – M Soccer – Finance

Paul Sime – M Soccer – Political Science

Kristoffer Tollefsen – M Soccer – Business Management

Jordan Wilson – M Soccer – Finance

Emma Brown – W Soccer – Integrated Strategic Communication

Alex Carter – W Soccer – Human Nutrition

Laura Connor – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Jackie Dallaire – W Soccer – Social Work

Danielle Fitzgerald – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Arin Gilliland – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Allie Gorgol – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Olivia Jester – W Soccer – Communication

Cara Ledman – W Soccer – English Education

Maddie Lockridge – W Soccer – Communication

Kaitlin Miller – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Stuart Pope – W Soccer – Biology

Courtney Raetzman – W Soccer – Communication

Cailey Warfel – W Soccer – Communication Sciences and Disorders

Chloe Watson – W Soccer – Architecture

Sharay Barnes – Volleyball – Family Sciences

Morgan Bergren – Volleyball – Kinesiology and Health Promotion

Emily Franklin – Volleyball – Kinesiology and Health Promotion

Alyssa Gergins – Volleyball – Elementary Education

Jackie Napper – Volleyball – Marketing/Integrated Strategic Communication

Lauren O’Conner – Volleyball – Marketing

Sara Schwarzwalder – Volleyball – Elementary Education/Integrated Strategic Communication

Anni Thomasson – Volleyball – Kinesiology and Health Promotion

Kayla Tronick – Volleyball – Family Sciences

Kelsey Wolf – Volleyball – Business Management/Marketing



From Patient To Dancer

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 13:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2015) — Most students preparing to participate in the 10th anniversary of DanceBlue are anticipating a need for caffeine, learning lots of new dance moves and happily celebrating a year-long fundraising effort to fight pediatric cancer. But for Nicole Upchurch, a freshman psychology major, DanceBlue 2015 will represent so much more.


A native of Somerset, Kentucky, Upchurch attended Southwestern High School where she played soccer. She played center midfielder and spent hours practicing and training with hopes to play in college. But when swelling in her finger and weariness began to inhibit her ability to play soccer, Upchurch felt that something was not right.


Doctors told Upchurch that she had giant cell tumor of bone and underwent surgery to put in artificial bones in her finger. She was told that she could not play soccer until her hand healed.


After months of resting, Upchurch was cleared to play again. She returned for a few practices, but shortly her tumor returned as well. Her doctors decided that she needed more help and her journey at Kentucky Children’s Hospital began.


When Upchurch arrived in Lexington, the news wasn't good. After several scans, doctors revealed that she had 17 tumors in her lungs and would also have to have her finger removed.


That news did not stop her.


“I’m ready,” she told the doctors. “Whether it ends good or bad, I don't have a choice.”


The physicians caring for Upchurch took their job very seriously, and they continued to encourage her along the way.


“Having doctors like that during the whole process made me feel so much more comfortable and so confident.”


Despite the excellent care of her doctors, Upchurch ended up losing her finger. Following a biopsy of her tumors, she also suffered from a collapsed lung. Because of various treatments to her lung, Upchurch spent over a month in the DanceBlue KCH Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Despite the constant hours in the hospital, Upchurch still managed to have fun.


“People always say to me, ‘Oh I’m so sorry you had to spend all that time in the hospital,’" Upchurch said. "I felt like I was at summer camp!”


Upchurch felt that the doctors and nurses of the clinic were not only dedicated to their occupations, but also to ensuring that every patient was as comfortable as possible. The clinic staff became her family.


“You can just tell that everyone there loves their job.”


Although Upchurch was able to play a few more games her senior year soccer season, life outside of the hospital was somewhat complicated. Friends and family had trouble relating to what Upchurch was going through. Although they consoled her, it was her fellow patients who brought her the most comfort. They related to each other and became an extended support system.


“He really helped me and motivated me to get through this,” Upchurch said of one particular patient. “Seeing someone like him smile makes me happy.”


Upchurch felt that the kids in the clinic taught her a lot about life. She learned about herself, and she changed as a person.


“Even though they go through all this, they just stay happy," Upchurch said. "I think being told you have something like cancer — from that moment on you are changed. You’re going to look at the world like everything is a blessing. You realize the important things and the unimportant things in life.”


Upchurch was able to share this insight at DanceBlue 2014. During Memorial Hour, she spoke in front of thousands of people about her time in the clinic and what DanceBlue meant to her.


In fact, while on stage Upchurch announced that she was going to attend the University of Kentucky for college. The crowd erupted in applause.


“DanceBlue honestly changed my life," she said. "I don’t talk in front of people ever, but I had never been more confident or comfortable in my entire life. I wanted to do it.”


For Upchurch, DanceBlue didn’t just provide relief and services. It filled a void.


“I’d been really trying to hold on to soccer, like I wanted to go play soccer somewhere. I was clearly not at the best of my ability. I was nowhere close to where I would’ve been. I actually made my final decision that I was going to go to UK when I was at DanceBlue.”


This year, Upchurch will be participating as a dancer in her first marathon. She has high hopes and is incredibly excited to give back to the organization that gave her so much. Tumor-free since May, she is ready to join the more than 800 University of Kentucky students dancing for a cure.


DanceBlue is UK’s 24 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue KCH Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Now in its tenth year, DanceBlue has raised more than $6.5 million for pediatric cancer research and child life efforts. Give to DanceBlue here and connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at and on Twitter at


DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach (CCO). The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. For more information about the CCO, visit Connect with the CCO on Facebook here and on Twitter at




MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909

Chemistry Graduate Student Honored by American Chemical Society

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 12:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb.12, 2015) — Faculty members in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry characterize Alexis Eugene as an outstanding student, critical thinker and driven researcher. Her accomplishments were recently recognized at the national level as she received the Graduate Student Award from the Environmental Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).


This prestigious award is given to students with strong research productivity, and Eugene’s record – which includes co-authorship on a letter in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and an article in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions – is indicative of her hard work, as well as the groundbreaking research taking place at UK. Marcelo Guzman, professor of chemistry, who serves as Eugene’s advisor and nominated her for the ACS Award, noted that she was very deserving of the award, “Alexis is eager to learn and try new techniques until they work [and provide] meaningful results. She takes the initiative for learning what needs to be done.”


After earning her bachelor’s from Bellarmine University, Eugene chose to pursue her doctoral degree at UK because it would offer her the best research experience. Originally interested in pursuing organic chemistry, after touring Guzman’s lab, she was exposed to a new awareness of environmental work.


“Normally when you think of environmental-based science you think of people out in the field conducting studies, analyzing the environment itself,” Eugene explained. “Here we do laboratory experiments aimed at elucidating what is actually happening in the environment.”


Broadly speaking, her work in Guzman’s lab involves modeling the kinds of reactions that can happen in the atmosphere in an attempt to uncover the mechanisms behind those reactions and the products they create. Eugene’s own research project deals with the role pyruvic acid plays in the formation of aerosols in the atmosphere. Aerosols play an important role in atmospheric chemistry: not only can the composition of aerosols affect the “lifetime” of clouds in the atmosphere, but aerosol is believed to have a cooling effect on the atmosphere because of its ability to absorb and scatter radiation.


Eugene points out that our understanding of aerosols seems less than complete. Since models for the organic composition of aerosols do not match the compositions measured in the field, her goal is to find an explanation for how that organic aerosol is developed in the atmosphere.


“The atmospheric effects of aerosols are really uncertain – there are large error bars for the cooling effect on the environment,” Eugene explained. She believes those errors will be much smaller once her research can show how pyruvic acid and other molecules contribute to the formation of aerosol.


Guzman describes Eugene’s research as innovative. “It addresses new problems in atmospheric chemistry. Her work covers a broad spectrum of environmental conditions with global implications to air quality and climate.”

UK Woman's Club Sponsors Education Abroad Scholarship

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 11:47

Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2015) —The UK Woman’s Club (UKWC) collaborated with University of Kentucky Education Abroad to create an education abroad scholarship for full-time undergraduate and graduate students at UK.


Students must be Kentucky residents with a minimum GPA of 3.2 and demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for the scholarship. Preference is given to nontraditional or underrepresented minority students.


“Finding money for academic study abroad is for many students problematic, and all too frequently for nontraditional students or underrepresented minorities, it is especially so," Diana Rast, the president-elect of UKWC, said. "UKWC hopes that this year the scholarships will go at least part-way toward solving this problem for some.”


UKWC will work with Education Abroad at UK to form a committee that will select the awardees. A grand total of $2,500 in awards will be made for summer 2015 and fall 2015. The maximum summer award per student is $500, and the maximum fall award per student is $1,000.


“The committee will be looking at merit and need as well as that 'spark' that distinguishes the able and motivated student," Rast said.


Additionally, the UKWC encourages the students to keep a journal of their experience to share with UKWC members upon their return from education abroad. Students’ experiences will be shared in the UKWC newsletter.


Since 1909, the UKWC has provided a welcoming and enriching environment for all women to be part of a group committed to supporting the UK campus and students. Beginning in 1973, UKWC awarded undergraduate tuition scholarships and graduate fellowships to UK women classified as nontraditional students. 


The money for the undergraduate scholarships is raised through UKWC philanthropy, by means of craft sales, bake sales, plant and yard sales and a holiday appeal among other events. Over the years, UKWC has provided over half a million dollars in aid to UK students.


UK Education Abroad is a unit of the International Center with the primary responsibility to facilitate high-quality, academically-sound and experientially rich study abroad, research abroad, intern abroad, teach abroad and service abroad programs for UK students. Education Abroad at UK also oversees international student exchange programming with our partner universities around the world. 


For more information, contact Diana Rast via email at The deadline to apply for this scholarship for both summer 2015 and fall 2015 is March 1.




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan; (859) 257-5365;

The Food Connection at UK Invites Proposals for Student Opportunity Grants

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:35

Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2015) — The UK Food Connection has issued a call for proposals for student opportunity grants related to the study of food and food systems.


The UK Food Connection, a partnership between the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Aramark which serves to promote a healthy, sustainable food economy, was established in 2014. The organization received a $1 million endowment through a contract dedicated to enhancing undergraduate and graduate student opportunities.  

The deadline for proposals is Monday, Feb. 23.


Priority will be given to advancement of experiential education, community engagement, and undergraduate student research, activities linked to dissertation work by graduate students, professional development, co-curricular activities, and related initiatives.  Projects related to development of formal curricula or traditional courses may be considered but will have lower priority. 


Proposals must include a University of Kentucky faculty or professional staff member as project leader or co-leader. Projects may be student-initiated or led, so long as a faculty or staff co-leader is identified. Students may be named and listed as co-leaders or participants; however proposals will be accepted if the specific student participants have yet to be identified.


Community engagement will be a positive factor in proposal evaluation. Participation of, or collaboration with UK Dining is not required but will be a positive factor in proposal evaluation.


The program is open to all majors and programs at the University of Kentucky, but the supported activity must be directly related to food or food systems.  For example, projects in nutrition, food technology, food economies, food and culture, or food production will all be considered.  Multi-disciplinary projects are encouraged as are projects from the arts, humanities and social sciences that address food systems in creative ways.


Click here for more information regarding the program, eligibility, funding considerations and application instructions.


Submit proposals to




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365;

UK Research Building Clears First Legislative Hurdle

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 19:46

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday strongly endorsed legislation that would provide funding for a multi-disciplinary research building on the University of Kentucky campus targeted at the Commonwealth’s most pressing challenges.


“Our goal is to make death a beggar in Kentucky,” said UK President Eli Capilouto, who testified before the committee Tuesday morning.


The legislation now goes to the full House for consideration.


Specifically, the state would fund $132.5 million of the projected $265 million research building. UK would fund the other half. The building, which would be located on South Limestone next to the bio-pharmacy building, would put together researchers across disciplines, working in teams, to address some of the state’s most intractable issues, including the hundreds of deaths that occur in Kentucky each year due to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease, stroke and other preventable deaths.


Kentucky is above the national average in incidence rates for those deaths, and the rates are particularly acute in Eastern Kentucky. Capilouto and UK Interim Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis told lawmakers that UK has some 330 individual research projects — totaling some $350 million — currently investigating those challenges and others. 


"The research we are conducting directly addresses many of the most compelling problems facing Kentucky," Cassis said.  "This facility will enable us to expand that work by recruiting and retaining the faculty who are on the cutting edge of discovery and research."


Moreover, the economic impact of research is significant as well, Capilouto said, pointing to a recent UK study that concluded that the annual direct and indirect economic impact of UK’s sponsored research across the campus was $581 million in fiscal year 2013, with more than 8,000 jobs created and $21.3 million generated annually in local and state taxes.


A link to the presentation by Capilouto and Cassis can be viewed here:


"I think there are two things we can improve in Kentucky, that is education and the health of our population,” said Rick Rand, chair of the committee, "and I believe this (building) does both.”

Read more here:

UK Postdoctoral Scholar Contributes to Europe's Experimental Spaceplane

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 17:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — Supported by seven countries, integrating efforts of 40 European companies, universities and research institutes, and harnessing the work of one University of Kentucky postdoctoral scholar, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) is set to blastoff this morning, Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. GMT and 8 a.m. EST. Francesco Panerai, postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was involved in the development of key features of IXV, which may pave the way for new spacecraft innovations.


If successful, the unmanned IXV mission will be the first time Europe is able to fly a fully autonomous mission from launch to recovery, said Panerai, which will only take around 100 minutes. But what is especially novel about the spaceplane is the reusable technology on board, materials that are meant to withstand the most severe environment, and could provide Europe with independent reentry capabilities.


"There is quite some excitement around this, as every space mission. It is a high risk/high reward project," said Panerai.


The Feb. 11 mission will provide critical data needed to understand how those new materials and instruments are performing.


Panerai, who is currently a visiting scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, was involved in the mission while earning his doctoral degree at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) in Belgium. Panerai, under the guidance of his doctoral degree advisor Olivier Chazot, contributed to the development of the aerothermal database of the spacecraft, and the experiment flying on board, CATE or the Catalysis Experiment.


Working on the aerothermal database, VKI executed ground experiments and simulations that could predict the behavior and environment of IXV during fight, aiding engineers in designing and sizing the various subsystems of the spacecraft.


Panerai was in charge of performing experiments at the VKI Plasmatron facility, the largest induction plasma wind tunnel worldwide. He was able to reproduce the same phenomena IXV will experience during high-speed reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, and test thermal protection materials, which will shield the spacecraft from high temperatures.


Specifically, Panerai said he and his team tested the ceramic tiles that are used to assemble the windward side of the vehicle, the material of the control flaps, and the ablative panels on the lateral and top sides of the craft. He was also involved in CATE, the in-flight catalysis experiment.


CATE consists of two patches with temperature sensors that were applied to IXV on its windward side. Panerai says the experiment will allow them to understand the chemistry happening at the surface of the vehicle, processes they currently know very little about.


"A similar experiment was flown by NASA on board of the Space Shuttle, but with more than 10 times the Shuttle instrumentation, CATE is going to be the "most instrumented" catalysis experiment that has ever been flown," said Panerai. The goal of the experiment: to understand gas/surface interactions in reentry environment and mitigate design limitations of heat shield materials, helping to build lighter and cheaper spacecrafts.


After reentry, IXV will descend by parachute and land in the Pacific Ocean to await recovery and analysis, according to the ESA website. Approximately six weeks later, initial results should be released, and may have an impact on Panerai's present work.


As a UK postdoctoral scholar and NASA Ames Research Center visiting scientist, he is currently working with Alexandre Martin, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, on a NASA Early Stage Innovations research project. The goal of the project is to improve the design of heat shields, allowing a spacecraft to carry more usable payload to its destination.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

UK A Cappella Groups, Choristers to Warm Hearts at 'After Dark' and 'Night on Broadway'

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:27



The Acoustikats peform "Back at One" by Brian McKnight. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Choirs present two February concerts that will set the mood for a romantic evening. A cappella groups Paws and Listen and the acoUstiKats present the popular annual "After Dark" Valentine's concert Feb. 13, at the Worsham Theatre. The following weekend UK Choristers will present their popular annual “Night on Broadway” concert of beloved show tunes Feb. 20 and 21. 


“After Dark” will be a night of music showcasing love for guests of all ages and includes a complimentary dessert reception immediately following the concert beginning 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at Worsham Theatre, located in the UK Student Center. The reception is courtesy of UK Catering  and the Office of the Student Center Director.


Paws and Listen is an a cappella singing group of 16 women who are auditioned from the UK Women’s Choir. The singers perform pop music, as well as a mix of doo-wop, vocal jazz and show tunes. Paws and Listen performs for numerous prestigious events throughout the year and is often featured at high profile events at Maxwell Place, the home of the UK President.


The acoUstiKats is a familiar name across campus because of the group's 2013 appearance on the a cappella competition show NBC’s "The Sing Off." The group is made up of 16 men who are auditioned from the UK Men’s Chorus. The ensemble specializes in doo-wop and a cappella pop styles. These students have performed at many events on campus and across the region.


If “After Dark” has audiences in the mood for more romantic tunes, they can enjoy another concert the following weekend at “Night on Broadway.” This night features beloved show tunes showcasing 50 student vocalists from the UK Choristers. This year’s theme is "An American Tradition." The show begins 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20 and 21, at the Student Center Ballroom. Hors d’oeurves will be served before the concert beginning at 6:30 p.m.


UK Choristers is the oldest performing organization at UK. Filled with underclassmen and representing a wide variety of majors, the group frequently performs on and off of campus. This 55-voice mixed choir specializes in choral repertoire of all periods and styles, both a cappella and accompanied, and also performs a major work each year with the UK Symphony Orchestra. The Choristers tour frequently throughout the region.


Tickets for "Paws and Kats After Dark" are $10 for adults and $5 for UK students and children. Tickets for “Night on Broadway” are $25 for adults, $15 for UK faculty, staff and students, and $35 for VIPs, which includes courtesy parking pass for early ticket purchases. To purchase tickets, contact the UK Student Center Ticket Office at 859-257-TICS.


UK Choirs ensembles are housed at the UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

College of Law Dean Brennen Named to Lawyers Of Color's Power List

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 09:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — David A. Brennen, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Law, has been named to the Lawyers of Color's Fourth Annual Power List, a comprehensive catalog of the nation’s most influential minority attorneys and non-minority diversity advocates. Dean Brennen will be profiled in the Lawyers Of Color's Power Issue 2015 and honored at a reception March 18 in Washington, D.C.


"I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized by Lawyers of Color. Lawyers of Color is a young magazine that is doing admirable work in advancing equality," Brennen said. "There have been many in the legal profession who were true trailblazers in the struggle for racial, ethnic, gender and, most recently, sexual preference, equality. In many ways, these struggles continue today. My hope is that organizations such as Lawyers of Color continue to highlight this ongoing human saga, along with its many participants."


Brennen joined UK joined from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a professor since 2006, and from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), where he served a two-year term as deputy director.


Along with nearly 20 years of experience in the classroom, Brennen is regarded as an innovator in the field of nonprofit law. He is co-founder and co-editor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, founding editor of Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, co-founder of the AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law and a co-author of one of the first law school casebooks on taxation of nonprofit organizations. Brennen has also authored a number of scholarly articles in relation to diversity, minority status and race.


“Power List” honorees are chosen as a result of the Lawyers of Color editorial team reviewing nominations and researching the legal industry to compile the list. Lawyers of Color, initially founded as "On Being A Black Lawyer," provides news, resources and promotion to minority attorneys. The company has received recognition from the American Bar Association, Thomas Reuters and The National Black Law Student Association.  

Campus Invited to UK Provost Candidate Forums, Feb. 12 and 13

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 19:07

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) — The campus community will have two opportunities this week to engage with finalists for the provost position at the University of Kentucky.


President Eli Capilouto announced two finalists Monday, Feb. 9: Gatton College of Business and Economics Dean David Blackwell and College of Pharmacy Dean Tim Tracy.


Public forums with each candidate will take place Thursday and Friday, Feb. 12 and 13. These will be livestreamed on UKNow.


Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Great Hall (2nd floor) of the M.I. King Library:

  • Dean Blackwell from 3–4 p.m.
  • Dean Tracy from 4–5 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 13, in the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A Auditorium:

  • Dean Tracy from 8–9 a.m.
  • Dean Blackwell from 9–10 a.m.

Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and co-chair of the provost search committee, will moderate both forums.


Each candidate will provide opening remarks before taking written questions from audience members. In their opening comments, Blackwell and Tracy will be asked to address three general areas:

  1. How their backgrounds prepare them for this important position;
  2. How they believe, with their leadership, we can continue our momentum and make progress in the important areas of student success, graduate education and research; and
  3. Their thoughts on steps we can take together to create a more inclusive and equitable campus community and environment

Individuals watching the forums via livestream can submit questions to or via twitter to @UKYProvost.


Blackwell was named dean of the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics in the 2012 after his tenure as associate dean for graduate programs and Republic Bank/James W. Aston Professor of Finance at Texas A&M University's Mays Business School. Before joining Texas A&M, he served as director in KPMG's Forensic practice and as a director in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Financial Advisory Services practice. He has authored or coauthored publications in the areas of public finance, accounting and management of financial institutions, including one of the country's leading undergraduate textbooks on financial institutions and markets.


Tracy was named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 2010. He began his academic career at West Virginia University where he served as a faculty member from 1992 to 2003. In 2003, he joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota as professor and was named department head in 2004. Tracy has garnered extramural funding through the National Institutes of Health and currently is the principal investigator on two NIH supported grants and co-investigator on a third project with total funding of more than $2.7 million. He is the author of numerous scientific publications, book chapters and two books. His area of research is drug metabolism and disposition.




MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; 


Presentation U! Tutors Prepare High School Students for College Life

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 17:28

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — Presentation U! is pleased to announce its partnership with Jessamine Career & Technology Center (JCTC) for the Spring 2015 semester. Nine undergraduate Presentation U! tutors will serve as post-secondary transition specialists (PSTS) for 17 JCTC students over the course of the semester. This relationship will provide JCTC students the opportunity to be introduced to life as an undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky in an intimate way, led by a current student. 


Tutors first met with their assigned small group of students Feb. 9 at the JCTC Kickoff event. This kick-off provided the opportunity for JCTC students and PSTS to begin discussions on tips for success in college, and plan how they want to accomplish tasks this semester.


The arrangement consists of specialists taking JCTC students to one class, participating in a campus tour, completing a service learning project together, engage in ongoing discussions about transitioning from high school to college, and completing a 10 minute presentation (specialists will lead and plan the presentation) highlighting their experiences over the course of the semester.


The guest speaker at the kick-off event was Chanson Davenport, former PSTS, who spoke passionately about how his opportunity to work with JCTC students impacted his graduate work. Davenport also provided insights on what students can expect from this program and what mentoring means to him.


Transitioning from high school to college is an incredibly challenging and intimidating transformation students must undergo. A partnership such as this one is designed to better prepare students for that transition and reduce their levels of uncertainty as they take on their new role as college students. Additionally, developing relationships with on-campus individuals prior to entering college increases the likelihood that high school students will become successful college students. It is the hope of JCTC and Presentation U! that this partnership will lead to greater post-secondary student success.


Presentation U!, part of UK’s Quality Enhancement Plan (a component of the requirements for SACS accreditation), is housed within Transformative Learning in the division of Undergraduate Education. Transformative Learning comprises Presentation U!, Academic Enhancement, and Social Enterprise & Innovation/Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) certificate program. The programs work together to enhance student success (retention and graduation).



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;

New Pharmacy Course Provides Opportunity for Alum and UK Undergraduates

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 17:25



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) -- University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy alumnus Doug Oyler knew he was interested in academic pharmacy. So when faculty members Jeff Cain and Peggy Piascik recruited him to serve as the College’s inaugural Teaching Fellow, he jumped at the chance.


Two problems persisted, however. The position called on Oyler to teach an online undergraduate course during Fall 2014. He had never taught undergraduates, nor had he ever taught an online course.


But if you know anything about Oyler, paving his own path has become a trademark.

A Louisville native, Oyler was the first in his family to pursue a career in health care. He had always enjoyed science – particularly chemistry – and entered UK for his undergraduate coursework. After two years as an undergraduate here at UK, he enrolled in the UK College of Pharmacy to pursue his doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, which he received in 2010.


After working in internal medicine at UK Good Samaritan Hospital for a few years, he knew he needed to pursue a residency to fulfill his ultimate goal of becoming an academic pharmacist.


“I knew wanted to pursue a faculty position,” said Oyler. “And I knew that I didn’t want to work for just a college of pharmacy – I wanted to work for a prestigious type of university that was known for its innovations in the classroom, practice settings and in research. To me, there was no better place to pursue that dream than by completing a UK HealthCare Pharmacy Residency.”


Oyler became R#407 in the UK HealthCare Pharmacy Residency program in 2012. He conducted a postgraduate year two residency in critical care in 2013.


During that time, he saw an interesting email from pharmacy faculty members Cain and Piascik. UK College of Pharmacy Dean Tim Tracy had recently challenged faculty with developing big ideas that would help re-think the manner in which colleges of pharmacy conducted their business. Cain and Piascik wanted to reach down into the UK curriculum and get undergraduate students more interested in a pharmacy career earlier in their academic careers.


And as Piascik says, their goal was three-fold.


“We wanted to make UK undergrads better health consumers,” says Piascik. “We sought to educate them about pharmacy and hope to interest them in a pharmacy career. And we wanted to stay connected to our pre-pharmacy students and retain them as they work through program pre-requisites.”


Thanks to some financial support from the College’s Transformative Grant program, the Academic Teaching Fellow was born, and Oyler was named the first fellow.


In fall 2014, Oyler taught the first semester of PPS 101, “Pills, Potions and Poisons.” The College chose to cap that online course at 30 students to allow Oyler time to figure out how best to teach this new course.


Oyler designed the course to be an informative and eye-opening introduction to field of pharmacy. Various guest speakers were featured throughout the semester, introducing the students to a wide-array of practicing professionals in various pharmacy fields. The course featured no recorded lectures. Students would read various pamphlets and journal pieces, watch videos and complete assignments each week.


“My goal was to create an environment that was fun, challenging and appealing,” Oyler said.

It appears he is on to something. When a larger, 50-seat class opened for spring 2015, the course filled immediately.


“The demand for the courses is higher than expected,” says Cain. “The roster fills immediately when registration opens.”


The plan is to grow the College’s undergraduate opportunities to a four-part series of courses – PPS 101, 102, 103 and 104.


“It is only the second semester of offering the first course, but so far, we are pleased,” Piascik said. “The first course is an overview of pharmacy and pharmacy-related topics. The second course will focus on dietary supplements and the third course will be about drugs of abuse. So far, the work, creativity and enthusiasm of our fellow and student teaching assistants has far exceeded my expectations.”


The future for Oyler also seems bright. His experience as a teaching fellow has broadened his knowledge of teaching and, perhaps, most important increased his passion for dispensing new knowledge.


“I am not sure higher education has done a great job of teaching people how to teach,” said Oyler. “This fellowship is doing that. Though I don’t know where my future will lead me, I know that this experience will bridge a gap in my training.”

UK Honors Students Connect With Faculty

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 16:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) — While enjoying hors d'oeuvres and homemade "mocktails" such as Perspicacious Punch and Nifty Nerds, University of Kentucky Honors Program students greeted and socialized with UK faculty members at the second annual Honors Faculty Dinner Jan. 29 at Central Hall II. This popular event marks the largest Honors event of the spring semester, giving students an outside-of-the-classroom opportunity to get to know UK faculty. 


“The hallmark of a superb Honors Program is a talented and engaged faculty, and the greatest success for Honors students lies in having a sustained professional relationship with this faculty," said Diane Snow, interim director of the Honors Program. "The annual dinner is just one of the ways the UK Honors Program supports this important relationship. It provides a relaxed environment for students and faculty to interact, learn about one another, and develop points of contact that underlie future communication and intellectual growth."


After a brief welcome from Snow, the students and faculty enjoyed dinner while their conversations continued. 


"I've had several classes where you barely know the professor, and they don't really know you, so you're just another face in the crowd," said Patrick Allen, a second-year junior double majoring in accounting and finance. "When I'm doing things like this, where I don't just see them in the classroom but at a dinner, I just feel a better connection with the program and my Honors faculty."


The event was organized by Honors Program staff, as well as Honors peer mentors and resident advisors who are significantly involved in planning events and coordinating programs. Sarah Caton, a junior peer mentor double major in Spanish and Gender and Women's Studies, helped plan the dinner and bring in faculty. 


"This year we tried to invite more Honors faculty but also faculty outside the department that might be interested in eventually teaching an Honors course," Caton said. "Students have the opportunity to invite professors to attend, so they may nominate somone they've had in class, or anyone they think has been an outstanding Honors professor. This is a great way to make connections for letters of recommendation or any kind of professional relationship they want to build with faculty."


Allen said events like this are what attracted him to the Honors Program, and ultimately UK, because they create a smaller community within the larger university. 


"I'd probably not be at UK if it was not for the Honors Program," Allen said. "During my high school career I had so many opportunities, and that's what the Honors Program has also given me. I can walk through these doors and see these faculty members everyday, rather than just seeing them during office hours. They actually know me."

Freshmen, Seniors Asked to Evaluate Student Engagement

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 16:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — Attention, all you freshmen and seniors who want to change the world … or at least the University of Kentucky … here’s your opportunity to provide meaningful feedback aimed at improving your university.


All UK freshmen and seniors received an emailed invitation yesterday from President Eli Capilouto to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The survey examines how UK freshmen and seniors:

·       interact with faculty outside of classes;

·       spend time discussing ideas versus memorizing facts; and

·       feel that UK provides a supportive environment to help them succeed.


“The University of Kentucky is deeply dedicated to student success. As an institution of higher learning, we are committed to self-evaluation and improvement with the continued goal to provide a college education that prepares graduates to lead lives of meaning and purpose,” said Capilouto. “The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) provides our faculty and staff with valuable information from our students, which can help us improve our curriculum, campus environment and the overall student experience.”


Students can complete the online survey in about 15 minutes. Those who complete the survey will have the opportunity to win one of 50 $50 gift cards to


This year’s NSSE survey marks the sixth time since 2001 that UK has participated in this important project. The nationwide survey is designed to obtain information “about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development,” according to the NSSE Web site.


NSSE developers say the results provide an estimate of how undergraduates at hundreds of colleges and universities spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Research projects have shown a link between student engagement and academic success, as measured by grades and retention.  College administrators can use the data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience — both inside and outside the classroom — that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education.


According to the NSSE website, student engagement represents two critical features of collegiate quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in activities that decades of research studies show are linked to student learning.

Snap(Chat), Post, Share and Tweet With #DB15

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 15:24


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2014) — DanceBlue wants to connect with you on social media! DanceBlue’s 10th marathon will take place on Saturday, Feb. 14, and Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Memorial Coliseum on UK’s campus. The marathon begins at 2 p.m. Saturday and concludes at 2 p.m. Sunday. There are many new ways to interact with DanceBlue through social media!


DanceBlue is excited to announce a partnership with SnapChat for this year’s marathon. On Saturday, Feb. 14, SnapChat will launch a geo-filter to honor DanceBlue. This geo-filter can be accessed from the SnapChat application for smart phones and is found by swiping through the filter function on a photo. The filter will be available throughout the entirety of the 24-hour marathon.


DanceBlue’s committee will be sharing fun, behind-the-scenes content via SnapChat as well. Follow the marathon’s SnapChat account, @UKDanceBlue.


In addition, DanceBlue will be active on Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media throughout the marathon. By using the official hashtags, #DB15, #FTK and #DecadeofDancing, followers can connect with DanceBlue!


The “see blue.” Instagram account, @seeblue, will be taken over by a DanceBlue dancer and committee members. Follow #DBTakeover on Instagram for this unique perspective.


Silent auction items will be available for bidding on the DanceBlue Facebook page from 4 p.m. Saturday until 10:40 a.m. Sunday. Photos from throughout the marathon will also be uploaded to the Facebook page. Be sure to follow DanceBlue on Twitter at @UKDanceBlue and on Instagram at @UK_DanceBlue!


The marathon will also be live-streamed at


DanceBlue is UK’s 24 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue KCH Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Now in its tenth year, DanceBlue has raised more than $6.5 million for pediatric cancer research and child life efforts.


DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach (CCO). The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. For more information about the CCO, visit Connect with the CCO on Facebook here and on Twitter at


To learn more about DanceBlue, visit or visit the marathon at Memorial Coliseum this weekend!




MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett,, 859-257-1909


UK Libraries Workshops to Help Users Save Time, Be More Effective With Research

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 13:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — From undergraduate students to graduate students and faculty members, everyone can use some time-saving strategies for library research. A series of workshops presented by University of Kentucky Libraries will help members of the campus community save time and be more effective in their research. The series targets a number of specific topics from basic research skills to scholarly communication issues.


The UK Libraries Workshops range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes each. Upcoming workshop offerings are:

· "Open Up Your Published Research: Introduction to Open Access," 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at William T. Young Library, Room 1-57;

· "What Your Students Think They Know about Research and How You Can Help," 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Young Library, Room 1-57;

· "Stoopid Google Tricks: How to get the most out of your Google searches," 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at Young Library, Room 1-57;

· "Help! I Need Scholarly Sources!," 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Young Library, Room 1-57;

· "What Your Students Think They Know about Research and How You Can Help," 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at Young Library, Room 1-57; and

· "Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal," 11 a.m. Thursday, March 12,

Details on each workshop can be found by clicking on the class name at


To sign up for a UK Libraries workshop fill out the class registration form. Workshop applicants should receive a confirmation email with in two business days of registration. If registration is not confirmed by then, contact from your UK email address for assistance.


As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries provides ever-expanding access to quality information resources, services and programs. UK Libraries locations include the Young Library, the Agricultural Information Center, the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, the Education Library, the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Research Center



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Artist Finishes Work Dedicated to Basketball Hall of Famer Dan Issel at UK Art Museum

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 13:29
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) — March Madness is coming a few weeks early at the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky when acclaimed Atlanta-based artist Craig Drennen sets up a temporary studio in the museum’s permanent collection galleries from Feb. 11-14 in order to complete a painting dedicated to UK and professional basketball superstar and Hall of Famer Dan Issel. 

Issel played from 1966-1970 for UK’s legendary coach Adolph Rupp and went on to a standout career with the Kentucky Colonels in the American Basketball Association and the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association.


Drennen will work on a canvas during museum hours (noon–5 p.m.), slowly rendering a realistic image of a floating basketball while a video of him spinning a ball on his finger plays on a nearby monitor. He will be located inside a taped-off area equal to the 3-second violation lane under the basket on an actual court.


For the past several years, Drennen has been making artworks that take their inspiration from "Timon of Athens," the single play by William Shakespeare never performed during the writer’s lifetime. Drennen has been working his way through the list of the play’s characters, making paintings dedicated to each.


"'Poet' actually has the first line in the play where he greets other characters, which is why the Poet pieces all have the word 'Hello' in them. I like the idea of collapsing the past into the present by treating an old play as newly relevant. That doesn’t seem strange at all to me, since the practice of painting itself always has one foot in the 15th century and one foot in the current moment. The basketball image in these works connects to the aesthetic of the trophy case, which is designed to preserve moments of great accomplishment much the way that museums are supposed to do," said the artist.


“(In the) Paint” is the first time that the artist makes his painterly process visible to the public, and the event has both professional and personal significance. Drennen lived in Lexington in 1991 just after receiving his master's degree from Ohio University. During that time, he taught at Transylvania University (where he also managed the Morlan Gallery), Eastern Kentucky University and UK. His fascination with basketball goes back to childhood when he was the starting forward and county tournament MVP for his 8th-grade team, the Glenville Panthers.


In addition to the viewing of his process, Drennen will also give a talk on his work. The artist will discuss his paintings and issues of skill acquisition, failure, abstraction and realism beginning noon Saturday, Feb. 14, at the museum.


Later this month, the completed painting will be auctioned off at the Art in Bloom GALA to benefit the Art Museum at UK the evening of Feb. 28. 


Based in Atlanta, Drennen's work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at Samson Projects (Boston, Massachusetts); Florida Mining (Jacksonville, Florida); Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam, Netherlands); P.P.O.W. (New York, New York); Cottage Home (Los Angeles, California); and Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta). His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, The New York Times and the Boston Globe. Drennen, who received his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Glenville State College, currently teaches at Georgia State University.


The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;